KANSAS CITY -- It takes a ballplayer to really know one.
During his recent stint at Triple-A Pawtucket, Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks had the opportunity to watch prize prospect Xander Bogaerts on a daily basis and came away convinced that Bogaerts' potential is as special as advertised.
"What an athlete he is," Middlebrooks said. "He's really young [20 years old] and really raw, but he has some of the best tools I've ever seen. Once he polishes those, he's going to be a really good ballplayer."
Asked if he considered himself to be in competition with Bogaerts for a callup to the Major League club, Middlebrooks was quick to respond.
"Not at all," Middlebrooks said. "I didn't see it as a competition at all. I was there to help him. Whatever position he plays ... he's going to be really good at it."
Robert Falkoff is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.